Daily Current Affairs and GK | 7 September 2021

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Topic: State News/ Gujarat

1. Gujarat government roll out Vatan Prem Yojana for rural development.

  • Gujarat government implemented the Vatan Prem Yojana for rural development.
  • The Vatan Prem Yojana’s society is the governing body of this scheme. A project management unit has been formed for the smooth implementation of the scheme.
  • Vatan Prem Yojana was launched on August 7, 2021. Governing body of the scheme has proposed works of Rs 1000 crore, which have to be completed by December 2022.
  • Under this scheme, NRIs can contribute 60 percent of the cost of a village-level project, and the remaining will be borne by the state government.
  • It is repackaged version of the Madar-e-Vatan scheme and it will cover village-level projects like smart classes in schools, community hall, primary health centre, Anganwadi, library, etc.

Gujarat:

It is a coastal state of India. Its capital is Gandhinagar.

The state shares its border with Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

Governor: Acharya Dev Vrat, Chief Minister: Vijay Rupani

Lok Sabha seats: 26, Rajya Sabha seats: 11

Topic: Environment and Ecology

2. India’s 1st Dugong conservation reserve to be set up in Tamil Nadu.

  • The Tamil Nadu government has announced to set up India’s first conservation reserve for Dugongs in the Palk Bay on the southeast coast of Tamil Nadu.
  • The dugong conservation reserve is spread over 500 sq km in Palk bay.

Dugongs:

It is a medium-sized marine mammal.

It is listed in the Vulnerable category of the IUCN red list.

Dugongs, as known as sea cows, are found in the Palk Bay, Gulf of Mannar, Gulf of Kutch, and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Around 200-250 Dugongs are living in the area of Palk bay.

Dugongs is an endangered marine mammal that is on extinction due to habitat loss, sea pollution, and loss of seagrass.

Dugongs are found in warm coastal waters from the western Pacific Ocean to the eastern coast of Africa.

 

 

Topic: National News

3. India to be the first Asian country to launch a Plastics Pact.

  • India to be the First Asian country to launch a Plastics Pact, The India Plastics Pact.
  • It is a joint initiative between World-Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF India) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
  • The Pact targets to enable businesses to transition towards a circular economy for plastics by 2030.
  • The Pact envisions a world where plastic is valued and does not pollute the environment.
  • India Plastics Pact is supported by UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) and Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a global NGO based in the UK. WRAP also supports Plastics Pacts in Europe, the Americas, Australia and Africa.
  • India generates 9.46 million tonnes of plastic waste annually. Out of this, 40 % is not collected.
  • About half of all plastics produced in the country are used in packaging, most of it is single use in nature.
  • Total 17 businesses have agreed for the Pact as founding members and ten have joined as supporting organisations.
  • India Plastics Pact has four time-bound targets. Its targets to be achieved by 2030 are given below.
    • Defining unnecessary or problematic plastic packaging and items and take measure to address them through redesign and innovation.
    • 100% of plastic packaging to be reusable
    • 50% of plastic packaging to be effectively recycled
    • 25% average recycled content across all plastic packaging

Topic: Reports and Indices

4. PM Modi’s approval rating at 70 % is highest among 13 global leaders.

  • PM Modi’s approval rating at 70 % is highest among 13 global leaders polled in the survey carried out by The Morning Consult.
  • In June, PM Modi’s approval rating was 66%. His approval rating has gone up in recent two months.
  • PM Modi’s approval rating was at its peak at 84% in May 2020 just after pandemic outbreak in India.
  • PM Modi’s disapproval rating has also come down to around 25%, which is one of the lowest on the list. His disapproval rating was at its peak in May at the time of second wave of Covid.
  • Morning Consult is a global data intelligence company. It calculates the approval and disapproval rating based on a seven-day moving average of all adults in a given country.

Topic: Defense News

5. ‘AUSINDEX’ bilateral exercise begins between Indian Navy and Australian Navy.

  • The bilateral exercise ‘AUSINDEX’ between the Indian Navy and the Australian Navy commenced. It is the fourth edition of ‘AUSINDEX’.
  • Sub-surface and air operations between ships, submarines, helicopters, and Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft are part of this edition of the bilateral exercise.
  • It is scheduled to be organized from 6-10 September. Indian Naval Ships Shivalik and Kadmatt are participating in this exercise along with Royal Australian Navy (RAN) Anzac Class Frigate and HMAS Warramunga.
  • The exercise will provide an opportunity for both Navies to further enhance interoperability, and to develop a common understanding of procedures for Maritime Security Operations.
  • AUSINDEX: It was started in 2015 as a bilateral maritime exercise between India and Australia.

AUSINDEX bilateral exercise begins between Indian Navy and Australian Navy

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: MoUs/Agreements

6. IREDA signed MoU with Tamil Nadu Generation & Distribution Corporation Limited for Renewable Energy projects.

  • Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA) signed an MoU with the Tamil Nadu Generation & Distribution Corporation Limited (TANGEDCO) for providing technical expertise in developing Renewable Energy projects and fundraising. 
  • Under this MoU, IREDA will provide its technical expertise to TANGEDCO for Renewable Energy projects development, bid process management, and implementation support.
  • IREDA will help TANGEDCO in raising funds through developing financial models and by conducting pre-market surveys.
  • TANGEDCO is planning to set up a 20,000 MW Solar Power Project and a 3000 MW Pumped Storage Hydro Electric Project.

Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency Ltd. (IREDA):

It works under the administrative control of the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE).

It is a Mini Ratna (Category – I) Government of India Enterprise. It is a Public Limited Government Company established as a Non-Banking Financial Institution in 1987.

It provides financial support to specific projects and schemes for generating electricity through new and renewable sources.

IREDA signed MoU with Tamil Nadu Generation & Distribution Corporation Limited

(Source: News on AIR)

Topic: Important Days

7. International Day of Clean Air for blue skies: 7 September

  • Every year 7 September is celebrated as International Day of Clean Air for blue skies.
  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) had adopted 7 September as International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on 19 December 2019.
  • The International Day of Clean Air for blue skies was first observed in 2020.
  • The theme of this year’s International Day of Clean Air for blue skies is “Healthy Air, Healthy Planet”.
  • This year’s celebration will be focused on climate change and sustainable development.
  • Air pollution impacts human health, planetary health, and climate change.

Topic: Appointment

8. Cyrus Poncha elected as vice-president of Asian Squash Federation.

  • Cyrus Poncha has been elected as vice-president of the Asian Squash Federation for a four-year term. He has been elected Vice President during the ASF's 41st annual general meeting.
  • Fayez Abdullah S Al-Mutairi (Kuwait) and Tae-sook Heo (Korea) are also elected as vice-presidents of the Asian Squash Federation.
  • David Mui of Hong Kong was elected unopposed as the President of ASF for a second term.
  • Cyrus Poncha is the third Indian to become Vice President of the Asian Squash Federation after N. Ramachandran and Debendranath Sarangi.

Asian Squash Federation:

It was established in 1980.

Its headquarters is located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It has 27 members.

Topic: International News

9. China carried out its first trial run of the China-Myanmar land trade route.

  • China carried out its first trial run of a new land trade route between China and Myanmar.
  • A cargo of around 60 containers has been sent by road from Yangon to Chin Shwe Haw as part of trial run of the China-Myanmar land trade route.
  • This new land trade route will save around 20-22 days in transit. It will connect China’s vast western region with the Indian Ocean.
  • It will help China in facilitating trade with Southeast Asia, Europe, Africa, South Asia, and the Middle East.
  • With this new trade land route, China could further strengthen its influence in Myanmar and Southeast Asia. Recently, a high-level Chinese official had visited Myanmar.
  • Under the Belt and Road Initiative, China has built infrastructure for connecting Southeast Asia with others parts of the world.
  • China is also constructing New rail links with its Southeast Asian neighbours such as Thailand and Laos.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

10. Shailendra Singh wins Behler Turtle Conservation Award.

  • Shailendra Singh has won Behler Turtle Conservation Award for bringing three critically endangered turtle species back from the brink of extinction.
  • Turtle Survival Alliance, IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, Turtle Conservancy, and the Turtle Conservation Fund are among the international organisations that have given the prize.
  • As per Turtle Survival Alliance, Dr Shailendra Singh and his team’s efforts are the last hope for survival of three turtle species. These species are given below.
    • Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga)
    • Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska)
    • Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans)
  • Shailendra Singh was named to lead the Turtle Survival Alliance/ Wildlife Conservation Society  India turtle programme. The programme now protects 18 of India’s 29 turtle and tortoise species.
  • India has 29 species of freshwater turtles and tortoises. Northern River Terrapin (Batagur baska) is being conserved at the Sunderbans.
  • The Red-crowned Roofed Turtle (Batagur kachuga) is being conserved at Chambal. The Black Softshell Turtle (Nilssonia nigricans) is being conserved at different temples in Assam.
  • Behler Turtle Conservation Award was started in 2006 to recognize outstanding achievements, contributions and leadership excellence in international turtle conservation and biology.

Topic: Environment and Ecology

11. Researchers discover new species of gecko.

  • Researchers from Department of Zoology Goa University and the Thackeray Wildlife Foundation, Mumbai, have discovered a new species of gecko (lizards).
  • Newly discovered species is the smallest known species of Hemiphyllodactylus genus with a maximum length of 32 mm.
  • The species is believed to be endemic to the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats.
  • The species has been given a scientific name, Hemiphyllodactylus goaensis. It has been suggested that the species be commonly called Goan slender gecko.
  • Specimens of newly discovered species were found in north Goa at Goa University campus and one in south Goa at Chandor.
  • The species has small size. It is differentiated by its 16-18 dorsal scales and 13 or 14 ventral scales at middle of body.
  • The new species is the first member of the genus to be described from the northern Western Ghats region as well as Goa state.
  • The species is not endangered but it faces possible threats from construction and burning of vegetation.

Topic: Sports

12. Max Verstappen wins Dutch Grand Prix for Red Bull.

  • Max Verstappen won Dutch Grand Prix for Red Bull and took the Formula One championship lead from Lewis Hamilton.
  • He remained 20.932 seconds ahead of Mercedes’ seven-time World champion Lewis Hamilton.
  • Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was third. French driver Pierre Gasly was fourth for AlphaTauri with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fifth.
  • Fernando Alonso was sixth for Renault-owned Alpine. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was seventh.
  • Dutch Grand Prix is a Formula One motor racing event held at Circuit Zandvoort, North Holland, Netherlands.

Topic: Biotechnology and Diseases

13. Kerala reports a case of fatality from infection by Nipah virus in Kozhikode district.

  • Kerala has reported a case of fatality from infection by Nipah virus in Kozhikode district.
  • In May-June 2018, Kozhikode district reported 18 confirmed cases of Nipah virus. Out of these cases, 17 were laboratory-confirmed deaths.
  • Human Nipah virus is classified as an “emerging zoonotic disease”. This means that it can be transferred to people after being incubated in other species.
  • Human Nipah virus was 1st recognized in a large outbreak in Malaysia and Singapore from September 1998-1999.
  • Prior to the Kerala outbreak of 2018, Several Nipah virus outbreaks were reported in Bangladesh and in India at Siliguri and Nadia district in West Bengal.

Nipah virus (NiV):

Nipah virus (NiV) is classified as a “highly pathogenic paramyxovirus”. Its natural reservoirs are large fruit bats of Pteropus genus.

The virus may pass on to pigs if pig eat fruits that are bitten on by infected bats. The virus takes from 6-21 days to incubate and manifest as disease.

Two main modes of spread of the virus are- drinking of raw date palm sap contaminated with NiV and close physical contact with Nipah-infected patients.

The main associated symptoms are fever, delirium, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion and diarrhea.

In infected people, virus causes severe illness characterized by inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) or respiratory diseases.

Currently there is no known treatment or vaccine available for either people or animals.

Ribavirin, an antiviral may have a role in reducing mortality of patients with encephalitis caused by Nipah virus disease.

Immunotherapeutic treatments (monoclonal antibody therapies) for the treatment of NiV infections are in development phase.

 

 

 

 

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